Natural Gas Market Little Prospect of Naked Gas–on–Gas Competition in India
India's gas market is far from open competition, as the price for domestically produced natural gas is regulated by the government. Now privately owned gas producers have been lobbying for domestic gas prices to be linked to the price of imported LNG.
The Indian government is intent on introducing gas pricing policy reforms to incentivise natural gas production, informed Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on March 23. “We are conscious that remunerative energy prices are needed to ensure expanded energy supply,” he told in the recently concluded Asia Gas Partnership Summit in New Delhi.
However, the pricing of natural resources like oil and gas should be conducted within a framework of governmental and regulatory oversight, he added. Moreover, the economic exploitation of these resources should benefit both investors and the people of India, he assured. So, there is little prospect of naked gas-on-gas competition yet. Gas produced by the state-owned upstream oil companies and from the Krishna Godavari basin block owned by Reliance Industries is priced at US $ 4.20/MMbtu; gas produced from some of the blocks have been allowed a price of over US $ 5.5/MMbtu. Earlier this year, BP India had already called for market determined prices for the Indian domestic natural gas production.
“Government Committed to Find Viable Solutions”
While gas produced from the blocks offered under the New Exploration and Licensing Policy are allowed free pricing based on market determined rates, the prices must be approved by the oil ministry. “Our government is committed to taking all possible steps to find viable solutions to meet the concerns of the gas industry,” Dr. Singh declared.
Prices for Domestic Natural Gas Regulated
Privately owned gas producers have been lobbying for domestic gas prices to be linked to the price of imported Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). But Energy Minister S. Jaipal Reddy ruled out any immediate plans for an increase in domestic natural gas prices, in comments to the press....
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